His Excellency Hon.
Daniel T. Arap Moi
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to address this summit of distinguished world leaders assembled here to review the progress made since Rio ten years ago. I thank my Dear Brother and Colleague, President Thabo Mbeki, for the excellent arrangements put to our disposal and the Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, for the preparatory work already undertaken.
Looking back at the last decade, the track record of implementation of the agreed actions to stop further deterioration of the global environment has been rather disappointing.
We certainly could have done better and achieved more, if the consensus and commitments displayed in Rio had been translated into real action.
I hope that this Summit will give fresh impetus to the commitment by the international community to the call of sustainable development and in particular to the implementation of the Johannesburg plan of action. We must move away from mere talk to real action.
Poverty reduces living conditions to a continuous and desperate struggle for survival. In such a situation, the luxury of weighing the consequences of one's actions does not exist.
The eradication of poverty is, therefore, crucial to the realization of sustainable development.
The problem of poverty has been compounded by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has increased health care costs, and threatens to reverse the gains in the quality of life attained over many years.
This summit must therefore commit more resources towards social improvement programmes in health, education, water and sanitation, environmental degradation, infrastructure development and access to affordable energy.
The highly indebted poor countries initiative is a positive step towards alleviating the debt burden, which is responsible for massive outflows of scarce development resources from developing nations. Unfortunately however, many highly indebted countries, including Kenya, do not benefit from this initiative. I, therefore, call for the review of the eligibility criteria under this initiative and propose that countries facing high levels of poverty and debt burdens qualify for debt relief.
I urge this summit to building on the momentum achieved in Doha, Monterrey and the Millennium Summit to ensure an equitable and transparent multilateral trading system.
Developing countries must be given full access to the markets in the North. At the same time, developed countries should endeavour to meet internationally agreed target of 0.7% of their official development assistance over the next five years.
Globalization must be channelled into a positive force for all peoples of the world. Resource mobilization through development initiatives should therefore occupy the centre stage to liberate Africa from poverty and underdevelopment.
In this regard, there is need to strengthen the existing United Nations Agencies, especially UNEP and HABITAT, the two key institutions for the co-ordination of sustainable development initiative. They should be provided with adequate and predictable resources to enable them carry out their mandate fully and effectively.
I wish to conclude by challenging this summit to demonstrate greater commitment to address the development priorities identified in previous conferences. This conference must make a difference.
It is my sincere hope that we shall endeavour to rise above national
interests and direct our efforts towards tackling the numerous problems
that face our planet. It is only by doing so that we can guarantee the
continued survival of the human race and all life forms on planet earth.